By Kelly Ledbetter, Christian Examiner
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Christian Examiner) – Chad Hammond, a director at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), had only recently become an employee when he was deployed to Ground Zero just a few days after Sept. 11 to minister to those affected by the national tragedy.
When he reached the ruined towers, the destruction was more extensive than he imagined, and people’s bodies were still being recovered. “It was very humbling,” Hammond said. “I remember not wanting to disturb or touch anything. You treated that place as a kind of holy site.”
In what would form the foundation of the BGEA’s Rapid Response Team, Hammond worked with local churches to help pastors, to establish a crisis phone center, to offer grief counseling for walk-ins, and mobilize volunteers to come and serve in the area.
“As Christians, we felt that we had a mission to bring the hope of Christ to the people of New York City,” Hammond said in a BGEA article on the ministry’s history.
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